Definitions

There are 38 definitions in Article 2, and technical persons within the industry should understand their meanings and implication for their activities. Many of the definitions have been used in the previous F‑Gas Regulation and some are also used in the ODS Regulation (EC) No 1005/2009.

Below are some additional explanations to some of the definitions that are relevant to the production and supply of HFCs:

(1) ‘fluorinated greenhouse gases’ means the hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and other greenhouse gases that contain fluorine, listed in Annex I, or mixtures containing any of those substances;

These three types of greenhouse gases are included in the basket of 6 greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol and subsequent measures and legislation. Hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs) are recently developed very low GWP substances that can be used as refrigerants and in other applications. Their very low GWP (<10) means it is appropriate to exclude them from this definition.

(2) ‘hydrofluorocarbons’ or ‘HFCs’ means the substances listed in section 1 of Annex I, or mixtures containing any of those substances;

Annex II in section 1 lists the HFOs, but lists them as for example HFC-1234yf rather than the more commonly used HFO-1234yf, and describes them as ‘unsaturated hydrofluorocarbons’ rather than the more commonly used ‘hydrofluoro-olefins’.

To understand the meaning of the letters and numbers in the HFC and HFO names, see Learn about … Nomenclature of H(C)FCs and HFOs’.

(3) ‘perfluorocarbons’ or ‘PFCs’ means the substances listed in section 2 of Annex I, or mixtures containing any of those substances;

See ‘Learn about… PFCs’. The abbreviation PFCs is being used for two different classes of products. PFCs (perfluorocarbons), covered by this Regulation, are organofluorine compounds that contain exclusively carbon and fluorine. Other compounds which contain atoms other than carbon and fluorine are also sometimes called PFCs but these are not covered by this Regulation.

(5) ‘mixture’ means a fluid composed of two or more substances, at least one of which is a substance listed in Annex I or in Annex II;

Hydrofluoro-olefins (HFOs) are listed in Annex II, with other fluorinated substances, and are subject to reporting requirements under Article 19. Some of the substances in Annex II have high GWPs, but HFOs have GWPs less than 10. This is why the definition of ‘mixture’ includes mixtures containing HFOs (and other Annex II substances).

(6) ‘global warming potential’ or ‘GWP’ means the climatic warming potential of a greenhouse gas relative to that of carbon dioxide (‘CO2’), calculated in terms of the 100-year warming potential of one kilogram of a greenhouse gas relative to one kilogram of CO2, as set out in Annexes I, II and IV or in the case of mixtures, calculated in accordance with Annex IV;

The GWP values used in this Regulation are based on the Fourth Assessment Report adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and are more recent values than those used in the previous Regulation 842/2006. The review provisions of the Regulation in Article 21 allow the Commission to update the GWPs on the basis of new Assessment Reports adopted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change or new reports of the Scientific Assessment Panel (SAP) of the Montreal Protocol. For further information on GWPs see ‘Learn about… Selecting and Using GWP values for Refrigerants’ and ‘Learn about… Global Warming Potentials as revised in 2013’.

(7) ‘tonne(s) of CO2 equivalent’ means a quantity of greenhouse gases„ expressed as the product of the weight of the greenhouse gases in metric tonnes and of their global warming potential;

Emissions of carbon dioxide are the largest contributor to global warming. The emissions of all other greenhouse gases are expressed as tonnes of CO2 equivalent to enable the relative contributions to be compared. See ‘Learn about … Selecting and Using GWP values for Refrigerants’, which explains how GWPs are calculated and also ‘Learn about … The contribution of HFCs to European Greenhouse Emissions’, which shows the emissions of all the greenhouse gases expressed as CO2 equivalents.

(13) ‘a non-refillable container’ means a container which cannot be refilled without being adapted for that purpose or is placed on the market without provision having been made for its return for refilling;

This is a significant and welcome tightening of the definition compared to that in the previous Regulation 842/2006. Under the previous Regulation some refillable containers were treated in the supply chain as if they were non-refillable in order to avoid the costs and processes associated with returning the cylinders for refilling. The return and refilling of cylinders avoids emissions associated with disposal of cylinders that contain a ‘heel’ (residual HFCs).

(31) ‘feedstock’ means any fluorinated greenhouse gas, or substance listed in Annex II, that undergoes chemical transformation in a process in which it is entirely converted from its original composition and its emissions are insignificant;

The Ozone Regulation and the Montreal Protocol exclude feedstock from the definition of ozone depleting substances except for reporting requirements. Feedstock use means that the use is not an emissive use as the substance is converted into another substance. This approach is also used in this Regulation as the objective is to reduce emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases through controls of uses and consumption.

Other definitions that may be useful to consider:

  • (10) ‘placing on the market’ means supplying or making available to another party in the Union for the first time, for payment or free of charge, or using for its own account in the case of a producer, and includes customs release for free circulation in the Union;
  • (12) ‘container’ means a product which is designed primarily for transporting or storing fluorinated greenhouse gases;
  • (14) ‘recovery’ means the collection and storage of fluorinated greenhouse gases from products, including containers, and equipment during maintenance or servicing or prior to the disposal of the products or equipment;
  • (15) ‘recycling’ means the reuse of a recovered fluorinated greenhouse gas following a basic cleaning process;
  • (16) ‘reclamation’ means the reprocessing of a recovered fluorinated greenhouse gas in order to match the equivalent performance of a virgin substance, taking into account its intended use;
  • (17) ‘destruction’ means the process of permanently transforming or decomposing all or most of a fluorinated greenhouse gas into one or more stable substances that are not fluorinated greenhouse gases;
  • (22) ‘virgin substance’ means a substance which has not previously been used.
Additional references